Resource USM LC Viability Rankings (VR Update @ #249)

hi, just gonna drop some raises/drops

Trapinch B+ -> A-/A
AKA Poor men Diglett, this guy is pretty good and deserves better. Having the ability to trap and reliably kill Onix, Tirtouga, Magnemite and potentially Abra is fantastic. Being a trapper makes it really splashable and it shines on teams with Ponyta and Flyingspam.

Gastly A -> A+
Really antimeta, seriously. Being able to shit on Foongus, Mienfoo, Vullaby and Onix(giga drain lul) is enough.

Snubbull B+ -> B
He can't hold it anymore. Completely outclassed by Spritzee, which has a better recovery and bulk, he barely fits a niche. He can situationally hit something on the switch with Earthquake/Fire Punch but that's it. Also can't check Mienfoo properly because of U-Turn -> Diglett -> Tectonic Rage.

Bunnelby B -> higher
Amazing wallbreaker. Probably the scariest mon of the tier. Iron Head for Spritzee, Stone Edge for Vulla, U-Turn for momentum, Return for...everything except rock/steel types, Earthquake for rock/steels, this guy has it all. It's only problem is that the limit for known moves is 4 kek.

also Frillish should stay in B tier, it has some good matchups all around but it's just a huge momentum sinker.
Okay, time to hit the post:

A- -> B+
I am sorry to tell you guys, but Croagunk isn't in a really good spot. Gastly and Abra existing, the existance of Vullaby and Foongus, Diglett being everywhere, as well as the dramatic usage rise on Trapinch make its presence in the metagame really small. It has a hard time setting up against a lot of threats, and it gets chipped down either by strong attacks or momentum regaining moves really quick to even take advantage of its defensive typing, not to mention that even the core it's supposed to break, Ferroseed + Spritzee, can carry the less common Psychic to take care of it. Drop it.

B+ -> A-
Why isn't this ranked higher already? The insane use it got in LCWC Week 1, as well as other higher usages in Snake Smogon Draft means that it's niche is really appreciated by many team composition that look for an effective way to deal with Flying-type checks such as Onix and Tirtouga, and ability to directly switch into Alolan Grimer and take care of Pawniard, Magnemite and even Ponyta and Abra. Poor man's Diglett has clearly solidified itself, and should rise ASAP.

B+ -> A-
Call me crazy, but Doduo has really improved with metagame trends shifting. The rise of Trapinch, as well as the more common Diglett help Doduo to take on Onix, Tirtouga and such, and break many teams with its All-Out Attack BJ set, which is the most common and efficient set at the moment. Even sets such as Scarf see usage by doing cleaning late-game after its threats have been removed. I would like people to think about this one, to see different takes on it.

B -> B-
Kabuto hasn't been in a great spot after the rise of Tirtouga as a better Flying check that shares the same typing. The metagame trends make it impossible to fit Flying check, hazard removal and hazard setter in one spot, and it's often forced to forget one of the roles to function at its best. It isn't even a serious Flying check, as it is forced to run Maximum Speed to check Vullaby, and Knock off really hinders on its bulk. The evident problems it has with the rise of Ferroseed +Spritzee and Trapinch do not help either, thus it should drop.

A -> A+
Arguably one of the best wallbreakers in the metagame, Gastly's niche has further improved. Metagame trends really favour it and coverage is customizable as heck: Thunderbolt, Psychic, Dazzling Gleam, HP Fire, HP Fighting, Energy Ball, Shadow Ball, Destiny Bond... A lot of options along with Sludge Bomb are present to gastly to take on a lot of common teams and pose one of the biggest threats in metagame right now. Rise it up.

This should be enough, but I think we should consider a bit Snubbull's niche on ZMF Mienfoo teams before dropping it, it's a unexpected but solid niche that can take games by turning around the tables with the correct matchup. I think I would like to have some takes on Chespin too to discuss whether to rise or stay (more Foongus wars means more Chespin usage, and Gastbra is rising like crazy, which despite its momentum drain, acts as a decent check of it along with Spritzee), as well as Tirtouga, Ferroseed and Spritzee rising. I'll let people talk on these before expressing my opinion on these ones. Peace out, guys.
Now, Trapinch seems really good to me as a support Mon for some sweepers that have trouble dealing with some mons, having Trapinch trap Ponyta, Grimer-Alola, Ferroseed (weakened), and also Onix and Tirtouga more easily than Diglett, having priority not blocked by Feint to help with the likes of Abra, really help it supporting the likes of Croagunk, Flyspam / Waterspam (if these still exist after gull's ban), and even some other niche sweepers like one that I really like, Treecko. It also gains from Gull's ban, as it's not threatened by Gull doing significant damage to forced-out switchins if it comes in. So yeah, Trapinch should be rised in my opinion.

EDIT : Ok I got outsped by council
Hello again, esteemed LCers. I'm here to propose some new nominations, some proposed from the latest post I made, some original and inspired from some takes on the metagame. Let us proceed:

B- -> B
Taillow right now is legitimately strong. Flame Orb Guts is the best set, which dismantles a lot of teams firing up strong Brave Birds and Facades once checks such as Pawniard, Onix and Magnemite are removed from the game by Diglett or Trapinch, the latter being its best partner to use it with. Quick Attack even picks off at absurdly decent percentages, Speed is really great and STABs hit really strong to even non-resistant bulky Pokémon, and it can even make use of Protect not only to trigger the item, but to scout for Scarf Pokemon or priority moves like its Hoenn counterpart did. Rise it up, and kudos to Serene's Grace for the idea.

B -> B+
It's safe to consider that Chespin's niche, depsite the momentum sink it offers, has further improved after the departure of Wingull. Two reasons derive from this nomination: firstly, the consequent rise of Abra + Gastly has made it a solid pick being able to properly counter Gastly and check Abra along with Spritzee, and secondly, the constant rise of Foongus, which has intensified the Foongus wars after one of its offensive halts disappeared. Making use of these traits, its niche is much more delimited from Ferroseed's, as it cannot handle the potaential HP Fire Gastly, which otherwise reduces Ferroseed + Spritzee to ashes. It means as such that it can take advantage to set Spikes up or recover if needed. In a metagame filled with trappers, a defensive answer to the best offensive core that isn't really threatened by either Diglett or Trapinch is a relief, and thus should rise.

B- -> B
Although for Munchlax looks like almost nothing has changed, it benefits from Gastly + Abra rising, which can handle just right, as well as the ascendance of Ponyta, which has been getting more use as of now, with either offensive or defensive sets. Being able to act as a special metacheck and Pursuit trapper, as well as manage every Ponyta set makes it worth of recognition in a metagame filled with Fighting-types and Knock Off. Luckily, Pokemon such as Spritzee keep riding as Fighting checks and acting as the best Knock Off absorber with Covet. Rise the Munch up.

A -> A+
The most splashable Fighting and Flying check you can ever rely on, has a ton of utility options in Covet to act as the best Knock Off absorber, or coverage Psychic if you just need an emergency tech to Gastly or Foongus. The usefulness of Spritzee does not end there, as the metagame, filled with trappers such as the omnipresent Diglett or Magnet Pull Magnemite, it can act as a really decent wincon using either Nasty Plot + Trick Room sets, which have also imrpved with Wingull departure, or Calm Mind bulky sets, being able to fit in a lot of teams and accomplish a lot of roles. Due to these traits, it forms the best defensive core along with Ferroseed, or it can opt to manage better Gastly + Abra with Chespin. Let it rise.

That's all for now, guys. Have fun in LC!


levi of the decade
is a Tiering Contributor
Honedge from Unranked > C

Not really sure what rank it should be specifically, but I think C is fair with it potentially rising more if it gains traction.

Honedge has a unique niche amongst pursuit trappers due to its inability to be trapped (I think it's best paired w something like Snivy that can take advantage of ground-types) meaning it doesn't fear double switches or being revenge killed, and with Abra, Gastly, and Trapinch usage all rising Honedge can prove quite useful in a lot of matchups. Abra/Gastly users are forced into a 50/50 with Pursuit (OHKOs on a switch, otherwise ~70%) and Shadow Sneak (13/16 roll to OHKO on both). Many Gastlys forgoing Shadow Ball as well as Abra often running for HP Fighting instead of HP Fire for Pawniard allows Honedge to switch-in on LO variants of either more reliably:

240 SpA Life Orb Abra Psychic vs. 76 HP / 140 SpD Eviolite Honedge: 8-9 (36.3 - 40.9%) -- guaranteed 3HKO
200 SpA Life Orb Gastly Thunderbolt vs. 76 HP / 140 SpD Eviolite Honedge: 9-12 (40.9 - 54.5%) -- 9% chance to 2HKO

Those calcs use the analysis spread for Honedge, though personally I think moving the Defense EVs into SpD and HP would be better as the 3 mons you will most often switch into (Spritz, Abra, Gastly) are all special attackers.

Honedge can also switch into Spritzee without having to fear Covet and losing its Evio and also takes Moonblast and Psychic comfortably, and is one of the better Spritzee checks though a lack of recovery can be annoying.

Here's a replay of me using it in circuit playoffs vs. Shrug, and whilst I got the prediction wrong vs Abra both times, it's still able to do its job in weakening Abra and forcing it out, as well as switching into Spritzee before later KOing it.


Banned deucer.
I've never been a huge fan of Snivy, and I think now more than ever its weaknesses are starting to show. It's not that it's a bad Pokemon, I certainly respect its power and ability to sweep and wallbreak given the right circumstances, but I think the meta is too unfriendly for it to warrant an A+ ranking right now. I would nominate it to drop to atleast A. It hasn't gotten worse, in fact, the Wingull ban has helped it ever so slightly, but everything that it hates is now really common. Ferroseed, Pawniard, Vullaby, Foongus, Magnemite, Gastly, Grimer-A, Ponyta; its extremely unlikely that atleast two of these mons won't be on every team you face. This makes its infamous wall breaker/choice scarf sets really difficult to pull off due to its limited coverage. And recent usage stats support this, seeing only 6 uses in the first two weeks of LCWC.

Of course, it has many support options like Glare and Knock Off and its power makes it a good teammate for things like Gastly and Doduo which are kind of scary right now, but I don't think it's a strong enough pick alone to warrant A+ at the moment. I'd like to hear your guys' thoughts on this.

Other noms, I agree with are Spritzee to A+, Croagunk to B+, Gastly to A+, Larvesta to B, Bunnelby to B+/A, Rufflet to B-, Kabuto to B- and Chespin to B+

Thanks for reading
I've been using Snubbull a lot on various offensive teams, and although I love it, I agree with dropping it to B. Its lack of recovery just doesn't allow it to contribute much outside the role of designated fighting check; unresisted STAB from offensive mons tends to hit Snubb for north of 50%, so a bit of chip damage swings a lot of matchups against it. While that's nothing new, the current trend towards GastBra is a problem, as the Abra matchup is summed up by the previous sentence and Gastly just outspeeds and OHKO's. Also, the rise of GastBra will likely keep Pawniard at the top (obviously a problem) and keep fighting types other than Mienfoo down. Snubb still has its niche as a fairy that doesn't hemorrhage momentum, but it seems like the current direction of the meta is hurting both its niche and its ability to perform outside its niche.


sage of six tabs
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tcr's proposed re-tiering:

Snivy --> A / A-
Snivy has long since waved out of the metagame. Sister put it best, teams nowadays have Foongus / Ponyta / Ferroseed / Gastly / Magnemite / Vullaby, etc. Snivy has some cool sets it can use to bypass some of these counters, like Wring Out or Z-Normalium Snivy, but it is by and far not as spammable as it used to be. Scarf Snivy very rarely cleans games anymore, there are a plethora of resists, and it seems people are even starting to run Protect on offmons to scout for Z crystal moves or Scarf attacks or block Fake Out. Eviolite sets have a rough time in the metagame as Synth or Knock Off no longer cuts it with fast threats like Gastly and Abra OHKOing / 2HKOing the grass snake, and the few things Snivy can actually set up on are things like Onix, Trapinch, Tirtouga, all typically are paired with a hard stop to Snivy. It is no longer an A+ mon, and more a threat that can catch out unprepared teams but one that is just naturally prepared for by the nature of this metagames teams.

Foongus --> A+ / A
Foongus is a pokemon that will almost always be good unless the meta somehow devolves into flying type spam. That said, Foongus suffers a lot from the current trends in the metagame. The rise of Pokemon like Gastly, Abra, Ponyta, and Doduo all mean that Foongus tends to perform more of a back role of just checking Fighters, to which some fighters (Timburr) have started running coverage to bop it anyway. In my experience in games I have found Foongus to be useful to sleep one thing (which even then some people are running tech like Scarf Vull to adapt to the metagame and also have an overcoat mon) and then just kinda pivot, and that pivot potential and weak SpA makes it more difficult to just splash on a team and call it a day because then you have to deal with things like Psychic Gastly / Abra, Ice Punch Timburr, etc. I no longer think that it fits its role in S tier, as the meta has shifted away from it. It is still good and is incredibly splashable, but then so is Onix and Pawniard and neither of them are S tier for their ability to check Abra or Vullaby

Abra --> S
Abra is by far the pokemon that will most likely be suspected next. Abra's grip on the teambuilding side of the metagame is dominating, as it just simply OHKOs or 2HKOs most Pokemon. Life Orb versions OHKO a vast majority of the metagame, and because it takes no chip damage you often have to just guess which set it is between Life Orb or Sash sets. Its movepool is really what tips it over though. Between Energy Ball, Psychic, Dazzling Gleam, HP Fire, Substitute, Protect, HP Fighting, Counter, it can really devastate teams if they have one specific answer and turns out you guessed wrong and so now lose your counter. The rise of Trapinch has seriously helped it, because you can countertrap Beat Up Diglett, Pawniard, Grimer-A, and help it to stranglehold the metagame. Many games simply end by a Sashbra sweep on the ladder, and previous common checks like ScarfMag are no longer as viable. The meta has adapted slightly in that things like Scarf Vull and Foo are becoming more common to bait out the Abra but to me that shows Abra's emergence as the premier threat in the meta, by forcing previous standard sets of BJ Vull or DefFoo to adjust to otherwise less ideal states in order to check it. Abra beating all 4 current S tier mons depending on the set / movepool is pretty ridiculous if you ask me, it forces pressure on a ton of archetypical teams.

Gastly --> A+
Gastly, to me, has always been extremely similar to Abra. In fact I personally like it more, although Abra just has more raw power and Magic Guard puts it head and shoulders 1 tier above Gastly. That said Gastly's impact on the meta is nigh identical to Abra's. Both combined on a team are truly menacing, as they can peel for each other by either Counter'ing a potential check or D-bonding a counter. Gastly's movepool is far bigger than Abra's imo, allowing it to also tailor itself to ohkoing almost every Pokemon in the tier. Shadow Ball / Sludge Bomb / Hidden Power Fighting / Fire / Energy Ball (Giga Drain) / Dazzling Gleam / Thunderbolt / Substitute / Destiny Bond / Psychic / Sucker Punch all give it a wide range of Supereffective attacks that can demolish a team. It is THE premier wallbreaker right now if Abra is the wincon, but its so strong that it can simply end games. The second people realized that it didn't have to run Shadow Ball / Sludge Bomb / HP Fight it became absolutely amazing, with the ability to run Psychic to OHKO foo or Timburr or Foongus after some chip, or to run Thunderbolt to OHKO Vull after Rocks, or to run Twinkle Tackle to fuck up the Timburr lead, or HP Fire to hardcatch the Ferroseed. It is utterly ridiculous in a metagame currently dominated by Abra and other special attackers, with people resorting to using Munchlax of all mons to catch AbraGastly out. This mon needs to be bumped up in the same tier as Onix and Timburr.

Ponyta --> A+
Ponyta is another Pokemon that despite its Rock weakness it is amazing in today's metagame. 19 Spe and one of the best and most dangerous mons for things like Trapinch or Diglett to deal with. I'm just waiting for the day that people realize that SunnyBeam sets exist so it can bop Onix and everything else that tries to check it like Tirtouga. Z Pony is still really good at just eliminating something non-resist, and its current WoW / Flare Blitz / Flame Charge / Morning Sun set is really good as just a blanket check, especially since like 75% of Timburrs run Iron Fist now, making a Burn absolutely detrimental. A well played Ponyta bypasses the things that normally check it like Trapinch / Diglett / Onix and the ability to spread Burns consistently make it one of the best physical checks in the metagame. Its speed tier lets it sit above Gastly as well checking it, and can allow it to tie with Abra. I say bump it up from A, it is on a higher level in the metagame than ferrospritz for sure.

Doduo --> A- / A
Doduo has always been slightly controversial due to its frailty, but I believe that its speed tier is really what sets it apart. Berry Juice sets make an excellent cleaner as not much can really stand a Brave Bird except the Rock types that typically die early / mid game in the tier. Onix and Tirtouga imo are very easy to bait in and trap with Trapinch, or even to just take some SR + Spike damage + U-turn. They don't have that good of longevity, especially Tirtouga, and Doduo could serve to be bumped up.

Chinchou --> B-
Let's be quite honest here, Chinchou is an absolute garbage Pokemon that needs to not be as high up as it is. It checks almost nothing in the tier except Magnemite, who already isn't really that great. It's easily trapped, loses to both Birds, and can tank almost no hits. Its momentum is easily absorbed by Foongus or Chespin or Ferroseed or Spritzee, and needs to just drop lower than B+. At the least it is not even close to being on the same tier as Bunnelby or Doduo or Elekid or Vulpix. I could go further into details on everything below A- as there seems to be a lot of Pokemon that are kinda just forgotten or not truly organized (Snubbull still in B+? lol) but the only one that really needs addressed is Chinchou. If your team ends up with Chinchou on it, you should honestly just start over, its that bad


Banned deucer.
I see no reason for abra to not rise to S. Barring of course diglett, and the occasional elekid, abra is nigh unpaced by the bulk majority of the metagame. Metagame trends have been shifting to check abra, but abra still remains a prominent offensive threat. Diglett often runs beat up for the sole reason of checking just one of abra's sets. Vullaby and mienfoo's scarf sets are increasing in commonality, but obviously cannot switch in to abra reliably. TCR makes a solid point in mentioning trapinch's great help in sharing a team slot with abra. Abra's premier checks, pawniard and alolan grimer, are easily dispatched by trapinch. On the matter of metagame trends, the ever popular bulkyfoo mends abra's chief weakness: its poor defenses. This is especially helpful for life orb variants, which cannot often find a safe switch-in. Obviously less powerful than a life orb variant, sashbra is still fantastic glue for teams easily pressured by the still relatively uncommon set-up sweepers. Clamperl and the less common scraggy have no chance of a sweep with a sashbra in the back.

I'd also be remiss not to mention the less common scarfbra. Out pacing the still uncommon scarf foo and vulla's, and non scarf digletts, scarf bra is a fantastic late game cleaner.


literally the textbook definition of a tsundere
is a Site Content Manageris a Forum Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a Contributor to Smogon
Ok so heres a few mons that actually are pretty good, me noting the top 40 mons over 5 categories, then ranking them bc yeah they good AND this is a guide to making teams. Mishmash a few in from different categories and you should do somewhat decently at least.

These mons basically just prevent moves. Their purpose here is to make your opponent fear what might happen, and screw themselves over.
Pawniard-So many possibilities! Basically just run anything you want because they fear knock off, fear sucker punch, fear iron head, et cetera. Green Light CrazyPlayz!

Shellder: Again, so many possible moves. Explosion-RockBlast-IcicleSpear-Iceshard-Hydropump-Liquidation-Rapidspin
Whatever you do, they have no idea what ur set is apart from an obvious shell smash

Grimer-Alola: What a bastard to kill. Slap a berry juice on, give it thief and just devour your opponent's consumables. Plus on the bright side, gunk shot/crunch/pursuit can HURT. Anyways, the reason why its here is it's superior typing and reasonable coverage. Not a lot of counters at all so have fun users!

Meowth: Holy hell this thing is good. So many uses, but for now I'll just list the oppressor qualities. Water Pulse for a start, ruining bulky mons like onix and geodude, plus a whole host of others. Pretty much any ground/rock type. Then bite, for ghost/psychic/whatever you want to use it on, with a nice effect. Don't forget aerial ace, for bug, grass and a few other select mons. But for my sets I run NormalgemFakeout, then Covet/Feint/One of the fillers that I just mentioned. The great thing is, hey have no idea which filler you have.

Onix: Typing, typing, typing. Can either be a weak armour sweeper after using rocks, or just going to annoy. Either way, its painful to take out with its monster defense.

Geodude(preferably alola). Alola is mainly for typing, so that ground types are more effective and they use physical attack, and it reduces grass/water effectiveness, whereas those types are mainly special attackers. Otherwise, use counter-sturdy-berry juice, then add whatever u want. Put here because it counters literally all physical attackers

Doduo: Yeah. The birdie. Mainly just massive coverage, good attack, good speed. Hit em with jump kick, brave bird/drillpeck, return, swords dance or z-mirror move. Get to that later.

Ponyta: Eviolite. Sunny Day. Flame charge. Flare blitz. Solarbeam. morningsun. Enough said. This alone will counter a lot, taking into consideration its 411 bst.
From the way you're putting this, sounds like this is something for the Metagame Discussion Thread.
Ok so I’ll just begin by saying that I more or less 100% support TCRs nominations, so will focus a bit on some more controversial picks that hasn’t really seen much discussion in this thread that I feel we should discuss.

Staryu to A
Wingull is gone. Staryu wasn’t great because 1. we now have Defog Vulla on every single team 2. for more offensive teams Wingull was generally prefered for banworthy reasons and fighting resistance. Now that said competitor is banned, Staryu is again the fastest strong water type with amazing coverage, which is near impossible to switch in on especially since Chinchou isn’t a mon anymore. Furthermore Trapinch being used over Diglett on the most common archetypes that LO actually does well against means it won’t be trapped after 1 kill, which leaves room to wreak havoc. Foongus is also as bad as it’ll ever be (still great but this is the worst meta for it and there’s always Reflect Type to deal with that), and Ferroseed truly isn’t great either which leaves many of its checks more uncommon than previous metas.

Croagunk to B(+?)
Abra Gastly Trapinch Ponyta meta. Timburr isn’t as prevalent atm (although I feel it should be but not sure if we’re talking back-to-S stuff just yet), and Mienfoo just u-turns out mostly which leaves this thing countering … nothing, kinda sort of checks Pawniard and Mareanie and Spritzee and to a small extent Magnemite I guess but that’s about it and definitely not A- worthy. Croagunk has its niches n shit, but with the recent trends neither of these are enough.

Ferroseed to A-
Two best offensive cores right now: PonyPinch and AbraGast. Hp Fire is a mandatory choice on either of the fast special attackers, and Pony is kinda self-explanatory how is bad for ferro. he meta right now is just a bit too offensive for Ferroseed to be played, as while Twave, knock and hazards aren’t bad, it’s just such a momentum loss with little to make up for it but perhaps crippling 1 mon a bit to show for, which considering that mon is likely to be a mienfoo with 13 or below speed and 15 defense that isn’t really too bad for the opponent. Water types are for some reason not that common anymore, Snivy is close to dead and the ones that still live often carries hp fire, and while Spritzee is still solid, support from a Fighting type or Chespin or a Ground type is generally more prefered to better deal with gastly / Pawniard / Magnemites (Which is also more inclined to run hp fire than previous metas), or in general something that won’t drain momentum like Ferroseed does. Staryu is better now again which is a big plus for Ferroseed but lack of general usage unfortunately doesn’t help it. Personally think B+ is fitting for Ferro, but might be an overreaction on my side.

Is this really B+ worthy in general? I haven’t really used it much because I’ve never really found a good reason to use it, but don’t feel like commenting on this just yet. Discussion commence please?

Diglett and Trapinch
Diglett… I honestly don’t know what I want done with this mon. At one hand I’m starting to lean towards an “Arena Trap is broken” kinda thought process so I lowkey think it’s busted and want it gone, but it’s less about Diglett being annoying and more about there now being two equally scary Arena Trappers going around. With Trapinch being so good now and mostly pushing Diglett out of the spotlight being a part of the main core for the two arguably best offensive cores rn (PonyPinch and GastBraPinch), Trapinch also fits teams like Birdspam slightly better which makes me think Diglett and Trapinch should probably drop and rise to a more equal rank, like A+ Diglett while trapinch is ig fine since it can still be viewed as a niche diglett. Don’t get me wrong Diglett isn’t in any way worse than it used to be, if anything Eviolite is more viable than ever imo while Scarf/Z are still hot/great respectively, but it now actually isn’t the sole prominent Arena Trapper and its rank should reflect that a bit imo.

This was all somewhat vague but I kinda just wanted to get these thoughts out
I have a bunch of obvious nominations to post, and some that should also be considered as well as opinion on the other noms. Let's get to the roll:

A- -> A
I know it had recently risen, but there are several questions that must be thought before saying anything. Is there any team in the actual metagame where Trapinch doesn't fit? Is there any situation in which this Pokemon hadn't done anything for its team, be it removing Pokémon such as Onix, Pawniard and Alolan Grimer, or even offensive Pokémon such as Abra and Ponyta? Trapinch usage is still skyrocketing and shows no sign of stopping, and a higher rank should be given to Trapinch to reflect its dominance and presence, letting Gastly + Abra or Ponyta to go rampant over many metagame common builds. It can even countertrap Scarf Diglett, used to deal with Abra, being a big thing already for the core. However, it's not all it can do for its teammates, even other less viable offensive cores such as Flying spam and other less viable Pokemon such as Weak Armor Waterium Z Omanyte benefit from removing Tirtouga/Onix or Pawniard, to put an example in both cases. Rise it up.

A -> A-
Keeping it short and steady, Magnemite is not enjoying this metagame state. Trapinch and Diglett are everywhere, and on top of that, it can not act as the Steel-type trapper it is if there is any of them in the opposing team. This relegates Magnemite to use its best set, Analytic, which still packs quite a big punch to switch-ins and abuses its typing, but much harder with Trapinch being able to swap its bulk. Shoot it down.

A -> A-
Yet another victim of the metagame state, Diglett and Trapinch are everywhere, and Gastly + Abra pummel Mareanie down to oblivion. Its typing can't be fully utilized, as the momentum loss it provokes makes it unable to use its utility options, just to get crippled and pivoted on to be bait for Diglett and Trapinch. To add salt on the bruise, even Pokemon that used to check such as Spritzee are running Psychic due to it being a better filler than Covet (finds no room in this state), and Foongus keeps being an nuisance that outclasses Mareania as a bulky Regenerator user that checks Fighting-types due to its better typing and Spore. Iron Defense is right now what it can make use of to avoid getting easily trapped, but as long as the offensive core is healthy, Mareanie is doomed. Down with it.

A- -> B+
Please, take this thing down already. It's just painful to see how the best not-niche counter to GastBra is bodied to death with the prominence of Trapinch and Diglett, mostly getting easily trapped by Trapinch with only a switch. Definitely not the best moment Alolan Grimer is experimenting, and should go down soon.

A -> A+ Agree
Offensive sets on it are great as Trapinch gets rid of both Onix and Tirtouga, both solid checks to non-Grass coverage Ponyta. Firium Z High Horsepower is real strong right now, Fire coverage alone is enough to mess with the whole metagame and burn it to ashes, which eases Ponyta work at sweeping. However, the best set that takes advantage of Trapinch's abilities is bulky utility. After its checks have been removed, Ponyta starts spreading burns easily, and Flame Charge avoids it from being trapped by Diglett, and can't be trapped by Trapinch if Ponyta burns it. Definitely one of the Pokemon worth using on a team of these characteristics, rise it up.

A -> A+ Agree
Said enough about it, covered really well by a wide range of LC users, important piece of the offensive core that is overtaking the whole metagame as of right now. Rise it.

A+ -> S Disagree
While I like tcr's perspective about Abra, this is overvaluating it and I don't think it's the main reason why metagame common builds of GastBra are stupidly great. The main reason, to put it bluntly, comes from the trappers. Abra wouldn't be able to strange whole teams if there wasn't anything that removed Pawniard or Alolan Grimer, hence why Diglett and Trapinch are seen in an almost similar quantity. What is true though is that Abra complements Gastly by dealing better with Fighting-types, while Gastly nukes away anything that bothers Abra, though both share certain coverage options, in some teams one of them must carry it for bopping Ferroseed, being commonly Gastly. This said, Abra doesn't need to be paired with Gastly, but their ability together to devour the whole metagame with sheer force makes them redeemable and worth of a shared rank among the A+ Pokemon.

B+ -> On the verge, leaning to stay B+
I guess Larvesta has got better with trappers being everywhere, mostly Trapinch, who removes Onix and Tirtouga in exchange for a safe pivoting for it and solid checking to Pawniard, but still doesn't enjoy Stealth Rocks and relies on heavy hazard removal support. Though I think there could be more discussion about it, for now it should stay.

All in all, this metagame state is greatly produced by Trapinch's influence, and I do agree that it's already trying to steal Diglett's spotlight as the best trapper, but it's not absolutely like that. Whatever your team needs removed implies using one trapper or another, meaning that both trappers will get their share at trapping specific Pokemon to help any offensive Pokemon to break.


Banned deucer.
A+ -> S Disagree
While I like tcr's perspective about Abra, this is overvaluating it and I don't think it's the main reason why metagame common builds of GastBra are stupidly great. The main reason, to put it bluntly, comes from the trappers. Abra wouldn't be able to strange whole teams if there wasn't anything that removed Pawniard or Alolan Grimer, hence why Diglett and Trapinch are seen in an almost similar quantity. What is true though is that Abra complements Gastly by dealing better with Fighting-types, while Gastly nukes away anything that bothers Abra, though both share certain coverage options, in some teams one of them must carry it for bopping Ferroseed, being commonly Gastly. This said, Abra doesn't need to be paired with Gastly, but their ability together to devour the whole metagame with sheer force makes them redeemable and worth of a shared rank among the A+ Pokemon.

I am not sure your point that "Abra wouldn't be able to strange whole teams if there wasn't anything that removed Pawniard or Alolan Grimer, hence why Diglett and Trapinch are seen in an almost similar quantity." holds much real weight. Trappers ARE extremely prevalent, and abra does not even need to be run alongside an arena trap user to appreciate the metagame trends they set. Alolan Grimer ceases to exist with trapinch's prominence, directly bolstering abra's viability. ] Besides, even with a weakness to pawniard and alolan grimer, this should not cement abra's place in A+ forever. Foongus' S rank status is another discussion entirely, but let's assume for the sake of discussion that foongus should remain in S rank. Is foongus not severely limited by metagame trends? Bird Spam cores, made more viable by arena trap users, are growing greatly in popularity. Abra, a premier threat, has always threatened foongus. Foongus has always been weak to vullaby, and loses its bulk after taking the ever common knock off. Foongus can be a momentum sink after its spore is expended, though it still has tremendous value beyond this move. Despite these metagame trends shifting away from foongus, its place in the metagame cannot be understated. Abra's offensive presence is arguably greater than foongus's role as a defensive glue and sleep button to standard little cup offense, or slightly more balanced team archetypes. Why, then, does abra deserve A+?

edit: i am dumb and do not understand how smogon formatting works. the quote that i have botched was a snippet of avs's post


Don’t get mad, get even
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A+ -> S Agree

I know a lot of you won't have the time to watch this or the patience to bear with my voice on a crappy mic for this long, but this video half a year ago is a very solid analysis on abra and I would argue that the meta isn't super different now than it was from half a year ago. the only thing that has changed since then was the ban of wingul and trapinch was starting to get into the meta back then so that concept hasn't changed. For the reasons stated in the video, I agree with tcr 's nomming Abra to S. Abra is not only good cuz of its ability on paper, but also because the opponent must always stay guessing as to what set you are. For more breakdown and reasoning, watch the video!
PS: I was sick during the making of this video lol
Completely agree with AvS' post just here to add on to some lower ranked stuff

Bunny needs a rise. I'd stick it at A- personally. It's nearly impossible to switch into and LOVES the trap heavy metagame. Stupid strong priority is also amazing.

Corphish should rise to B+ imo. Similar reasons to bunny. Loves the trappers, amazing priority. Hits dumb hard and is bulky enough to set up SDs or DDs. It's checks are pretty easy to either trap or keep chipped as well bar snivy.

I think Munchlax could probably rise to B as well. Solid gastbra and pony check. Pretty reliable pursuiter. Body slam is free and para chance.

Stunky should rise to at least C+. Way better and more viable than everything in C ranks.
Honedge should be ranked at C+ too
Agree w/tcr, once Abra is in, it's almost guaranteed it kills/weakens something, and pivoting isn't that hard either. Sure, it can get revenge pursuit trapped but almost every trapper in the game hates arena trappers (except Honedge), and usually in GasBra cores there's a way to beat abra's checks.

The ability to pivot safely, not taking chip damage, posing huge damage once it's in and having good teammates for fixing its problems it's a good reason to put it in S tier.

Bunnelby should definately get in B+/A- because the meta is very kind to it and has no switchins.

Honedge should get a raise to B- because it deals pretty well vs Abra and non-Sball Gastly while not being vulnerable to arena trap. It's a pretty good niche to put it above the C ranks.

Ponyta needs to get A+, it's too good in the meta. Benefits heavily from Trapinch as AvS said, and once the rock types get killed by the aforementioned trapper, it can steamroll through, while being only weak to potential Frillishes which are not very common. It is also not weak to Diglett but gets potentially cucked by Pinch if not running wow.

Also, minor nomination, Deerling to C. Z-Flash is funny as hell and although it's a very inconsistant mon, it's better then most C tiers.


just like a monkey i've been dancing my whole life
Unranked -> C-

Buneary is not a great mon, however, Healing Wish gives it an extremely interesting niche. Buneary also has a fairly interesting coverage, it certainly suffers from competition from fake out abusers like Meowth, but it is able to take down steel mons without some hp stuff. Its speed tier is excellent, it hits rather hard, and can boast of having a completely correct bulk. I guess it got unranked recently, but I sincerely think it would deserve a C, or at least a C-, given some of the pokémons in it. It also has interesting support options that differentiate it from Meowth, such as Baton Pass, Encore (useful with its speed tier), Thunder Wave which allows it to handicap possible switch-ins, or Heal Bell. Unlike Meowth, it can even be played bulky. Its niche seems to me to be more than enough to qualify for the C Rank, especially as the best Healing Wish user in the tier, being particularly suitable for HO.

C- -> Unranked

Lickitung is for me the kind of pokémon that is "theoretically" good, but terrible in practice. Yes, its stats are excellent for the LC. Yes, it has Knock Off. Yes, it has Wish. And then what? A very good offensive movepool, decent offensive statistics... The problem is simply that this mon has a poor utility. You want a bulky normal that can handle Abra? Give a teamslot to Munchlax, who has Pursuit. You want a wisher? Spritzee will do the job better. This pokémon is very little played, almost non-existent at the top level, and even in the low-ladder one cannot say that it is exactly common. It's a pokémon that very easily causes you to lose momentum, which is generally quite passive, and I don't even really see its niche to be honest, Dragon Tail when Munchlax has access to Whirlwind ? It's basically a bad mix of Spritzee and Munchlax and I definitely think it should be Unranked.

C- -> higher

Stunky definitely has a better niche than any of the mons ranked in C-, notably by being a fast pursuiter able to resist Gastly's STABs. The fact that Diglett has more difficulty trapping it gives it a certain niche on Grimer-Alola, which is currently in rather trouble. It can also play Defog, which can be nice in a team that needs role compression. It should be higher, don't know where though, maybe C/C+ ?

C- -> Unranked

This pokémon theoretically has some niches as a Sand abuser if it is coupled with Drilbur who does things better overall (but seriously, very few people play Sand, much less with Drilbur + Sandshrew), as well as as a lead, having stealth rock, rapid spin and knock off. Nevertheless, he remains far too outclassed by Mudbray as a ground-type rock setter, and even by Kabuto / Drilbur as a spinner + rock setter. This mon has a niche, but it is simply far too weak to allow it to aim any better than Unranked in my opinion.
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It has been a long time since I've posted, but here's another nomination to take in mind in this metagame state:

B- -> B
Archen is really good and worth a try in teams right now. The continuous rise in usage of Trapinch has made it an excellent option for Flying spam cores that benefit from Trapinch removing Onix and Tirtouga, two Pokemon which Archen fails to beat, in exchange of providing a decent Flying check. Roost + 3 attacks is its best set, being able to use Eviolite and perform like a Flying-check that can spam Head Smash to hurt anything that doesn't resist it. The reason behind this set is the departure of Wingull, which made Archen more reliable without the fear of getting burnt by Scald, and Ponyta. Ponyta's been rising in usage along with Trapinch, shown in the PonyPinch teams that exist nowadays, and provided that Ponyta doesn't run Wild Charge, Archen will almost always succeed on checking it by switching between Roost and Head Smash. Moreover, despite Archen's low Special Attack, 3 attacks should run Heat Wave if used along with Trapinch, as it allows Archen to hit both Ferroseed and Pawniard for super effective damage, severely affecting their capabilities. In short terms, it's a Flying-type check that can threaten other Flying-type checks and Ponyta, and those traits make up for a good reason to rise it.


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Gonna have to disagree with Archen as it has a whole lot going bad for it and not as much good as you were saying.

Archen is just too frail and too dependent on being full health to really function well enough like it should. It's Rock typing seems like a blessing but the main things that it wants to switch in on, Vullaby and Ponyta, both cripple it with a simple coverage move. Vullaby Knocks Off the Berry Juice and puts Archen in Defeatist range from one click, while Ponyta has the rare Wild Charge, or the infinitely more common Will o Wisp to help spread burns and cripple Archen. In the event that Archen is an Eviolite set then it HAS to have Roost, making it a 3 attacks Roost set which commonly loses pressure against common archtypes, similar to a 3 Attack Recover Staryu (except Staryu has a lot more going for it right now). Archen also requires you to run Defog so you can keep out of Defeatist range (and even after one Head Smash you're in Defeatist range so its like a one time nuke?) which is not that great considering probably the only two good Defoggers right now would be Vullaby and Cottonee, and Cottonee isn't really that great either (decent lure though). Teams nowadays are just putting too much pressure on Vullaby to ever get a clean Defog off, making Berry Juice management on Vullaby an increasingly common skill one has to learn. Vullaby in turn, would much rather be using other moves in that 4th slot anyway to deal with things, like Hidden Power Fighting, Hidden Power Grass, U-turn, Tailwind, or even the rare Roost on Overcoat sets. Moreover Archen is just completely forced out by tons of common things, such as Pawniard, Mienfoo, hell even Timburr, Staryu, Abra, Gastly, and still loses to Onix and Tirtouga, as well as other more common B threats like Corphish. I just don't think the meta is friendly right now to a Stealth Rock weak Rock type whos claim to fame is beating Ponyta (if it doesn't willo on your roost or wild charge you) that also has to spam a move that kills it and Roost. Pretty much only Ponyta can get away with that, and that's because of its 19 Speed and ability in Flame Body. The negatives of using Archen far outweigh the positives and I think that it's still perfectly fine at B-.

Now if you really wanted to talk about a great Pokemon to beat Trapinch and Ponyta, I think Staryu could rise from A- to A. Staryu is a 19 speed coverage monster, being able to pressure Gastly, Ponyta, and Trapinch all in one slot, while also speed tieing with Abra (making the risk of using it only if Abra is sash and only if its Eball). Staryu has recently shown to be increasingly versatile, another Pokemon that can actually run the type of set you're trying to run (3 Attack + Recover) with its decent enough bulk and ability to force so many things out. Additionally Staryu has been increasingly amazing for me with its role compression. A 19 Speed Pokemon that isn't weak to either Gastly or Abra, beats Ponyta, Croagunk, and can Rapid Spin away things like Webs is downright awesome, and it can function on teams with an Abra or Gastly by luring in Ferroseed with Hidden Power Fire. IMO Speed is the name of the game right now in LC, and Staryu is a godsend against teams that don't have a Diglett, which has become increasingly more common with the usage of Trapinch. I think that Diglett's usage has gone down just enough to warrant a bump for Staryu, as a plethora of sets have emerged in the rise of Trapinch. People have been toying with it as a Z crystal holder, with Waterium, Psychium, Icium all getting approximate usage, others have found success with Life Orb Recover, or 3 Attacks Recover, or 3 Attacks Rapid Spin, hell Shrug had success with Whirlpool + Psychium and lured in things like Foongus and Mienfoo. If any Pokemon deserves a rise I wholeheartedly think that it should be Staryu.

Some Pokemon that I think could drop in the wake of this meta include Croagunk and Shellder. I simply don't think the meta really suits them right now, especially Croagunk more than any of the rest. Basically every single team has a Pawniard on it or some form of Steel-type, and if it doesn't then it at least needs to pressure super hard. Shellder struggles to find an opportunity to comfortably set up, and has its place on things like ladder Aurora Veil but honestly I don't think that ladder is wholely indicative of the meta (with sets like Shell Smash Dwebble on Pamplona's infamous ladder team getting to top 5 of the ladder). On the tournament side Shellder usage is very much down, and in my personal opinion I'd much prefer other hard hitters on the squad, such as Corphish, or even the above mentioned Staryu as a wallbreaker. Croagunk is another Pokemon I think that has lost its niche, and is one of those Pokemon that seems like they would be perfect but in practice seems to fall short. I've only seen it successfully used on Webs teams, and that's only on Serene's webs team, which I feel is enough of a niche to warrant its drop to B+ / B but not enough to keep it in A ranks with things like Spritzee, Trapinch, Mudbray, Tirtouga, or Staryu. Its weakness to trappers means that it's really going to struggle to check what it needs to seeing as it loses to both Diglett and Trapinch, and it's frail enough that it basically has to rely on Berry Juice Thief to keep up some form of utility for its trainer. Its good at checking things like Carvanha for sure, but Carvanha has also fallen out of the meta and I'd say is probably on the same level as something like Corphish right now (that is to say, good, but can often struggle to deal with teams that have common Pokemon like Mienfoo, Foongus, or Pawniard).
C+ -> B-

I've been using Pikipek on a variety of teams and it turned out to be the star of the team. When I went to check out the viability rankings, I was greatly surprised it was only a C+. Looking at the rest of C+ Pikipek is by far the best (imo). Bullet Seed being Pikipeks most spammable move is able to hit 5 times via Skill Link. Common flying type switch-ins like Onix, Tirtouga, Mudbray, etc get bopped after 2 turns. In addition it gets knock off, being able to get rid of eviolites and proceeding to use Bullet Seed.

Lemme know what y'all think because I'm interested.
B- -> B
Taillow right now is legitimately strong. Flame Orb Guts is the best set, which dismantles a lot of teams firing up strong Brave Birds and Facades once checks such as Pawniard, Onix and Magnemite are removed from the game by Diglett or Trapinch, the latter being its best partner to use it with. Quick Attack even picks off at absurdly decent percentages, Speed is really great and STABs hit really strong to even non-resistant bulky Pokémon, and it can even make use of Protect not only to trigger the item, but to scout for Scarf Pokemon or priority moves like its Hoenn counterpart did. Rise it up, and kudos to Serene's Grace for the idea.
No idea 'bout AvS' other noms, but can support this rise, maybe even to B+. But not just because of its Facade sets, but also because of its LO Special set. Gets Spammable Boombursts, and decent coverage options in Heat Wave and HP Grass to rid its supposed switches-in like Ferro, Magnemite, Pawniard, Onix and stuff, and U-Turn for momentum if need be....
C+ -> B-

I've been using Pikipek on a variety of teams and it turned out to be the star of the team. When I went to check out the viability rankings, I was greatly surprised it was only a C+. Looking at the rest of C+ Pikipek is by far the best (imo). Bullet Seed being Pikipeks most spammable move is able to hit 5 times via Skill Link. Common flying type switch-ins like Onix, Tirtouga, Mudbray, etc get bopped after 2 turns. In addition it gets knock off, being able to get rid of eviolites and proceeding to use Bullet Seed.

Lemme know what y'all think because I'm interested.
Don't think Pikipek has the longevity to use both Knock Off and pop Bullet Seed on a target. It's way too frail and suffers already from a weakness to Stealth Rock. It's really only good IMO as a sweeper and since it needs the Choice Scarf, you're not bringing any sustain in Berry Juice. LO Pikipek is probably serviceable as well, but the meta is too fast for it with Gastbra everywhere. You might be able to use it on Flying-spam teams as a counter to the Rock-types you've mentioned but I can't see it performing well enough to rise. I think C+ is fine for a niche mon that can do one job very well, but is very clearly outclassed by the other Flying-types like Doduo or Vulla.

In line with Ram, I'd like to try and push Bunnelby up to B+. It carries great coverage like Iron Head for stuff like Gastly, and Scarf sets will be able to outpace the common Gastbra cores that are everywhere. Trappers can't reliably come in on Bunnelby, as Return OHKOs both with Rocks up. I will admit that Scarf has less flexibility than the LO counterpart, which lowers the gap for error on the user's part. Despite that, games with Bunnelby are often decided once Timburr gets out of the equation, as other priority such as Sucker aren't usually enough to OHKO. It is also slower than other scarfers, but I think the wallbreaking potential it carries easily rivals stuff like Elekid and Scraggy and the bunny should go up a rank.
Agreeing 100% with bunnelby up to B+, it's one of the few Pokemon in B that sees tournament use, and rightfully so. plenty of teams especially those utilizing slower Pokemon with little priority are very weak to it.

Speaking of B rank, I think that there are a couple mons that need to be lowered and some that need to be raised in order to reflect what the meta is currently. I think of B+ as Pokemon that don't see too much use but have a sizable niche on some teams, while Pokemon lower than that are not worth using the vast majority of the time.

Elekid to B or even lower
Elekid is just... not good right now. There are some who maintain its viability but both problems with the mon itself and recent metagame trends have really worked against it. The rise of trapinch and to a lesser extent evio dig have hurt its viability significantly; It can be run in tandem with other trapinch weak mons in order to weaken trapinch sufficiently for it to be useful as Sken did in his match vs BurntZebra, but even if you do run enough support with it you still have to get past the issues with the mon itself: for an offensive mon its too weak to pick up important KOs and too frail to take a hit. The payout for using this mon is simply not enough to justify insuring it against Trapinch, and I think its tournament usage reflects that.

Chinchou to B or even lower
to put it bluntly there is almost no reason to use chinchou right now. Volt switchers are worse than ever, grass types are still a mainstay on almost every team as are trappers, and its simply not a good enough mon offensively or defensively to justify its use despite these massive flaws. Similarly to elekid, I think its rock bottom tournament use reflects that.

Larvesta to B or even lower
Another case where the payout for using it, while higher than elekid and chinchou, is simply not worth the amount of support that it requires. Defoggers and spinners are worse than ever right now, and losing half your health every time you come in if the easiest hazard to set is up is too great a detractor for its justified use on tournament teams.

Snubbull to B
Snubbull has been struggling for basically all of SM, at first it was Z diglett and foongus that made it not worth using and now its that in addition to the rise in fighterless teams. It is simply too difficult for it to justify a teamslot on almost every tournament team, and while I do think that it is better than the Pokemon above it still does not warrant a place in B+.

Scraggy to B
Another case where I can't even remember the last time I saw this Pokemon. There are just too many good checks present right now to justify its use. It can be useful against some teams, but its often too matchup reliant for comfortable use on competitive teams.

Slowpoke to B
This is probably the nomination I'm least comfortable with, but again I think its too matchup reliant and inconsistent to warrant use on the vast majority of teams. Psychic is just a very questionable defensive type when dark is one of the best offensive types in the meta.


Bunnelby to B+ or even higher
I think this is the least debatable of any of my nominations. I'll go into this if there as serious argument over it but I think most recognize how much bunnelby has improved recently.

Corphish to B+
Another Pokemon that has improved recently, its great wall breaking ability on top of its ability to spread knock off on important defensive Pokemon (specifically foongus) has caused its use to rise recently, enough to justify a rise to B+ in my opinion.

Dwebble to B+
Spikestacking is great right now in tournament and dwebble is the premier spikes user. Its been a feature on several absolutely menacing teams very recently and really capitalizes on the lack of solid hazard removal.

Frillish to B+
Frillish is hard to fit onto some teams but its burn spreading utility is simply amazing. Its bulk is always surprising and is always a nightmare to take down. I think its the weakest rise and could use some debate as not every top player uses it much, but I think its good enough to warrant a rise (its certainly better than elekid or chinchou, for instance).

Surskit to B+
I admittedly don't know how web setters should be ranked, but I think that webs are good enough right now to have their best setter be in B+. They also have more variety in their Pokemon choices than ever currently, owing to the strength of the archetype.

I also think some changes need to happen within A rank

Magnemite to A-
Magnemite was amazing for a little while but the rise of trapinch has hurt it immensely and teams featuring it have really faded away too much to warrant its placement on the same level as fantastic Pokemon like gastly and ponyta.

Croagunk to B+
Croagunk is simply not as good as the other Pokemon in A- and I think is much more on par with B+. It just struggles too much offensively and defensively currently to warrant substantial use.

Grimer-A to B+
Even without the presence of trappers I just think that Grimer is too inconsistent at performing its job. Abragast can muscle past it even without the assistance of trappers with counter and destiny bond respectively and if a trapper is present its in even more trouble. If abragast isn't present then its often frankly a waste of a slot.

Trapinch to A
I don't think this is super debatable; Trapinch is excellent right now, more than enough so to deserve A rank.

I didn't do in depth responses because there were so many nominations, but I would be more than happy to address any disagreements people have on individual or multiple nominations. On the whole though, I think that most of these should be pretty uncontroversial.

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